One of actor Walton Goggins’ earliest moments on stage came at a Georgia hog-calling competition when he was just 10 years old.
“I walked up onstage, and they had to adjust the mike for sure, and just leaned up on my tiptoes and just let out the biggest hog call that has ever been heard in my family, certainly,” he tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “And I won — I got a big trophy with a large hog on top. I have it in my office.”
Goggins says his days on the hog-calling circuit certainly helped propel him toward an acting career. Though he’s played many characters over the years, he is perhaps best known for his roles on The Shield — where he played a member of a corrupt narcotics squad — and the current FX series Justified, where he plays a white supremacist turned born-again Christian named Boyd Crowder.
Crowder also happens to be a fugitive bank robber hiding in the hills of eastern Kentucky, and an old buddy of the county’s newest U.S. marshal, played by Timothy Olyphant — who’s now on the other side of the law.
Acquiring the long drawl he uses to portray the quick-witted Crowder, says Goggins, took quite a bit of time.
And yet, reincarnation is exactly what happened to Goggins, whose bank-robbing Boyd went from shot dead at the end of the “Justified” pilot (which was also the conclusion of Elmore Leonard’s original short story, which the show is based on), to a recovered thorn in Kentucky lawman Raylan Givens’ side in the hit cable drama.
“We knew we had something special,” says “Justified” showrunner Graham Yost about Goggins’ casting. “Then FX said, ‘Guys, what’s coming out of testing is that people are disappointed when he dies, that they think he’s a great foil for Raylan. Could we keep him alive?’ We said, ‘That’s a no-brainer.’ ”
Goggins’ magnetic villainy and ability to keep you guessing as to Boyd’s motives gave the writers the ideal counterweight to Timothy Olyphant’s good-guy cool. His work didn’t just light up the screen, it inspired the writers.
“Not only do Raylan and Boyd have a history, but the fact that Raylan can see through Boyd, and Boyd knew that, led us into a new part of the story for us that wasn’t in the Elmore short story,” says Yost. “The big arc became Raylan and Boyd. As soon as we landed on it, it just opened up so many ideas for stories and gave a coherence to our first season.”
*click to see more photos in the gallery!
Coming off of its highly successful and critically lauded first season, the creators and cast of “Justified” were invited for a special screening and Q&A at the Chinese Mann Theater on June 10, 2010. Attending were executive producers Graham Yost and Elmore Leonard, along with director Michael Dinner and cast members Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins.
It was a night of high excitement and jubilation as the pilot episode was specially screened before Emmy voters and fans alike. While the fans were clearly ecstatic, it was hard to say who was more happy to be there: Walton Goggins who plays Boyd Crowder on “Justified” or Elmore Leonard, world renown author of the short story “Fire in the Hole” that inspired the television series, for both beamed throughout the presentation with obvious glee and pride. More sedate and calmly sipping his wine was star Timothy Olyphant who also clearly relished the lavish praise the show has earned.
During the Q&A, Elmore Leonard was quick to share that when he first read the pilot script, his immediate thought was “god, this is really good!” He also said he was not displeased by the fact that they changed the original story ending either, as the choice to not kill off Boyd Crowder has turned out to be one of the more captivating continuing storylines of the entire series. The wayward former White Supremist turned religious convert and evangelist is a role of a lifetime and Walton Goggins was relished every moment portraying such a complex and intriguing character. Continue reading
I’ve uploaded over a 2,000
captures of Walton from 9 episodes
of the first season of Justified
. The captures are in high quality (1280×720) so be sure to check those and enjoy! 🙂
– Justified (2010 – 2011) > Season 1 > Screen Captures